The thought of writing a book is usually daunting for many writers. After all, how and where do you begin writing a book that's anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 words?
Big numbers can be pretty intimidating. But there's a way to get around this. And it's by taking baby steps -- writing one chapter or even 300-500 words at a time.
This is how I wrote my book, WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss!** Every week for one whole year, I wrote one chapter or module. Each module was only 250 to 500 words. It helped too that as I wrote each module, writers were "testing" it. They did the activities in the module I sent out to them every week.
When I started, I began with an outline for Weekly Writes. This was just so I could see what I was supposed to do every week. An outline doesn't have to be set in stone. Think of an outline as a frame, a guide. It can be modified as you go along. So by the time I'd written chapter/module 52, I realized I had a book ready to show to a publisher or one that I could self-publish and sell the next day.
I didn't intend for Weekly Writes to be a book. I created it as an e-mail course. But when week 52 came around, I knew Weekly Writes could be a book too. I sent a proposal to a publisher and a week later received a note that she wished to review the manuscript. A couple of weeks later, I was offered a contract and given a deadline for submitting the final draft.
It took about 6 weeks to edit and rewrite some chapters. And to make the book even more useful to readers, I invited writers who had taken the e-mail course version to contribute creative pieces they've written as a direct result of doing the writing activities in the course modules.
The result? A *writer-tested* book.
On top of that, I had fun writing it because when I wrote a chapter, I simply wrote. I stuck to writing 250-500 words once a week. One baby step at a time. It was certainly easier to write when I worked with smaller goals (word quota every week).
Perhaps you can try it too. You may have a book 52 weeks from now, even sooner!
(c) 2004 Shery Ma Belle Arrieta-Russ
Shery is the creator of WriteSparks! - a software that generates over 10 *million* Story Sparkers for Writers. Download WriteSparks! Lite for free